Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Guarding Our Tongues and Our Online Posts

Colossians 4:6

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

I often wrestle with today’s subject. I believe we are our own worst enemies in reaching people for Christ and in church life. At times – some of us – if not all of us from time to time – have allowed our tongues to get us in trouble – saying the wrong thing – letting our true attitudes surface through our words (and if not our tongues than our e-mails or tweets or something). Many of us have criticized the POTUS for his tweets – but maybe we ought to examine what we post on social media as well.

At times we try to mask our cutting remarks with humor – but the truth of our heart surfaces through our tongues and through our posts. Maybe it was at a meeting where we let our tongue get us in trouble – being negative – saying the wrong thing – showing our anger or displeasure in less than a godly fashion. Maybe we said something that others overheard when we thought no one else was around. Maybe it was the choice of words that we used – using language that is crude or offensive. Maybe it was something we posted or liked or commented on while on social media. I’m sure we can think of times when we allowed our tongue or thoughts get us in trouble and damage our Christian witness.

Andy Stanley says in his book Enemies of the Heart that the tongue speaks what the heart feels – yet I know most of us try to guard the tongue rather than heal the heart (another sermon series in there somewhere). Read an earlier post on that book here.

One of Jesus’ brothers – James – writes this way about the tongue: James 3:9-11 – 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.  10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? As Christians – we damage our witness when we do not deal with the heart – because eventually what is in the heart will surface and it won’t always be pretty. If anger – jealousy – guilt and greed are in our heart – these will surface from our mouths – posts – and actions.

Paul writes the following passage – our morning verse – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Are we working hard on controlling our tongues and our posts/expressions? James says it is a hard task. Andy suggests we should focus on our hearts – dealing with the roots of our anger – jealousy – guilt and greed. My grandmother would often say – if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all. I’m sure you have heard that before. But if this is a heart issue – there is more to controlling the tongue than merely guarding what we say. We also need to do some heart surgery and deal with issues there.

In the church we might say it this way – is what we are saying helpful in building the kingdom? If our conversations are to be full of grace – how helpful is what we are saying? If someone begins to speak negatively about your church – your pastor – another person in the church – or anyone else – do we listen and say nothing? Do we listen and join in? Do we speak out against it? Do we at the very least walk away from that conversation – guarding our hearts?

Proverbs 15:4 – The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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April 19, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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